Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • UN peacekeepers battle jihadists in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • EU leaders meet in Brussels to seek a response to Russia

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

Europe

French fear of US trade deal 'reactionary', Barroso says

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-06-17

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has criticised French moves to protect EU cultural industries as "reactionary" ahead of upcoming talks on a massive EU free trade agreement with the United States.

European Commission head Jose Manuel Barroso has criticised French moves to protect Europe's film and cultural industries as "reactionary" ahead of upcoming negotiations on a major EU free trade agreement with the United States.

"Some say they belong to the left, but in fact they are culturally extremely reactionary," the Commission president said in an interview with the "International Herald Tribune" published on Monday.

Without specifically naming France, Barroso said that those fearful of a US cultural invasion of Europe "have an anti-cultural agenda".

Such fears indicate "no understanding of the benefits that globalisation brings, also from a cultural point of view," he added.

Hollande said on Monday that he found Barroso’s remarks “hard to believe”.

The unusually harsh criticism from Barroso followed marathon talks Friday between the bloc's 27 trade ministers to agree on the terms of the Commission's mandate to negotiate the EU-US trade agreement, which would be the biggest free trade deal in the world.

France insisted on a cultural exception that would exclude the audiovisual sector from the negotiations. After 13 hours of talks, a compromise was reached agreeing to French demands while stating that the Commission could review the issue later if necessary.

"I am going to listen to what my American friends say on this [and] then we can ... ask for additional mandates" if needed, said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht.

EU officials have repeatedly warned that excluding any economic sector could hand the US an early bargaining chip in what promise to be tough negotiations.

Washington says no areas should be excluded from the talks.

Ministers were under intense pressure to agree to the guidelines on which the European Commission will negotiate the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) so the talks could be formally launched at the G8 meeting starting on Monday.

If a deal is struck, it will establish the world's largest free trade arrangement, with bilateral trade in goods last year worth some €500 billion ($670 billion) and another €280 billion in services. Trillions of euros flow between the bloc and the United States in annual investment.

The EU says a trade deal would add some €119 billion euros to the EU economy a year and would result in a €95 billion annual boon for the United States.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2013-06-17

  • CINEMA

    EU reaches deal on French ‘cultural exception’

    Read more

  • EUROPE

    EU seeks to ease French concerns over US trade talks

    Read more

  • CINEMA

    Film world leaps to defence of French ‘cultural exception’

    Read more

COMMENT(S)